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Curriculum Outline

Day 1:  Arrival and Welcome Reception (~6:00 PM)

Week 1: Introduction to SCI research & Introduction to individuals with SCI

Laboratory Sessions: Surgical training in rat or mouse laminectomy and SCI, Care of SCI animals, BBB or BMS training. 

Participants will receive focused training on surgery and locomotor recovery of rats OR mice. There will be time for exposure to the other species, but participants will beed to select wether they want in depth training in rats or mice. 

Laboratory training will proceed throughout the week with the close guidance of faculty and staff with an approximate ratio of 1:1. 

Proficiency is developed in the 3 core competency areas of spinal cord surgery, injured rodent care and behavioral assessment of locomotion (BBBor BMS). Additional laboratory sessions provide hands-on experience with spinal cord perfusions, and preparing tissue for histology if desired. 

Group discussions and lectures during the first week will focus on the goals of SCI research with an introduction to spinal cord anatomy and SCI models as well as evaluation of spinal cord injured persons. There will also be time for participants to discuss and get feedback on their current research with the faculty and pther participants. Social events are included to permit networking and allow individualized interactions with faculty, staff and other students. 

Weekend 1

Participants will assist with at least one weekend animal care session.  

Week 2: Continued surgery and animal care training, and demonstrations/training in additional SCI

Laboratory sessions include Ephys technique demonstrations, Histology and Microscopy sessions, and additional behavioral techniques. Flex-time will also be included for individualized training bassed on participant requests (e.g., additional surgeries, microscopy, cryostat cutting, etc).  

Other events include visits by individuals with SCI, Introduction to the NeuroRecovery Network, Ethics & Translational Research Session, Seminar and interactive session with and outstanding researcher in the field of SCI. There will also be time for participants to dicuss and get feedback on their research projects.